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Oswego Election 2015: Lauri Doyle, Candidate for School District 308 Board

Mar 17, 2015 07:08PM ● Published by Steven Jack

Name: Lauri Doyle

Website: www.ldoylefor308.wordpress.com

Employment: Stay at home parent

Family: My husband Jim and my daughter Morgan

Education: B.A. Biology, M.S. Accountancy

Previously elected office: Treasurer East View PTO and Long Beach HAS, Inc.

Relevant community service: Girl Scout leader; CUSD 308 with Home and School associations, Parent Communication Council, Boundary Committee, Finance and Operations Advisory Committee, Strategic Planning Task Force, classroom volunteer; Illinois Special Olympics

What makes you qualified to serve on the School District 308 School Board?

I have extensive background volunteering at all levels of the 308 organization. I have an M.S. in Accountancy and currently working toward a C.P.A. license. I have a research oriented background, and a strong desire to help children succeed.

What do you believe is the role of a School Board member?

Governance. The role of the school board is to set the goals and expectations for our district and to handle the work of governing a public organization.

What should be the No. 1 priority for the next school board?

Restore trust with the community.

What are your plans to help repair broken relationships between the district and parent groups, including BPAC and Special Education?

Listen.

Recognize our parent groups as valued members of the district and set the expectation that our administration do the same.

Encourage parent participation as stated in SD 308 Policy 8:95.

Plan for transitions thoughtfully and with the children’s best interests in mind.

Base educational decisions on merit using best practices in the field of education.

Be willing to acknowledge that they might understand their specific topic in a more complete way than I can.

Listen some more.

In the face of dwindling state education dollars, what can and should be done to ease the District 308 property tax burden for local homeowners?

We need to make every effort to reduce our level of debt. Most of our property tax allotted to the district goes toward paying this debt. Bond restructure can also help reduce tax payments. Adding more commercial and industrial tax base will also help reduce the residential property tax bill.

Many teachers and administrators have left the district in recent years. What should be done to improve employee retention in the district?

Our teachers and administrators need to be free to do their jobs in the best way possible. We need to do a better job of allowing teachers to teach while providing them with all of the support we can possibly offer. We need to offer competitive salaries and opportunities for career growth in our district. We need to change the culture of our district to be one that encourages teachers and administrators to speak freely and openly with all levels of administration and the school board.

Should every elementary school in the district be home to all-day kindergarten classes? 

Yes, I think it is important for kids to have the continuity of one elementary school throughout their early years.

Is there any place in the district for a two-way language immersion program, now or in the future?

Absolutely! Two-way language immersion is the best way to bridge the educational gap between non-English speaking students and their peers. It has the added advantage of offering native English speakers the ability to become bilingual, which is a skill that is quite valuable in the workforce.

What level of participation should the community have in drawing new school boundary lines?

I think that parent involvement is crucial in boundary line discussions. Parents are the ones who make the drives to school and know the length of bus routes. Parents are the ones who will have to work with their children to absorb the changes a new boundary brings. Community input is vital in this type of community-changing decision.

How would you rate the job performance of the current district administration? Please explain.

I believe our current administration is far below standards when the standards include providing the best education possible for each child. Our administration is overachieving when the standard is diligence with paperwork. Our administration is failing at earning the trust and respect of the families in our district.

The achievement gap between students with IEPs and non IEP students continues to widen in the district. In your opinion, why is this happening? What should the district do to close that gap.

The gap is widening because our district is not focusing the appropriate amount of resources toward students with IEPs. There is an inadequate amount of staff and support services available to a growing number of students. This often results in IEPs not being met. In addition, the IEP process often focuses on bringing the student to a minimally acceptable level of achievement rather than focusing on helping the child reach their full potential. At the administration level there is a disconnect between administration, staff, and families. 

To close this gap, the district should place the appropriate amount of staff and resources in the locations needed to best serve the children. They should also widen the scope of teacher development to better educate general education teachers in the special needs of children with IEPs. The district should provide clear transition plans to parents in a timely manner. We need to stop moving special education programs around. 

Students who have IEPs are less likely than their peers to handle transition without it affecting their achievement, and should not be forced to change their school and staff so often.  

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Send your letter to the editor to onlyoswego@gmail.com Read More » 

 

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